Applesauce – Best in it’s simplicity
(Just a note, this recipe is sparse on detailed measurements because the amount of apple you start with, the moisture content, etc, will effect final volumes. Just for reference my latest batch yielded a little over 3 quarts of apple sauce from about 4 quarts of chopped apples.)
Start with sweet apples, almost any variety will do. We picked a mixture of Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Braeburn. Since these apples were a bit on the small side and not super-sweet I added a couple Jonagolds to sweeten it up.
Core and slice the apples into rough chunks. Don’t worry about peeling, once the apples are softened the blender will easily puree the skins.
In a pot large enough to contain the apples, add just enough water to cover the bottom. Basically we are going to steam the apples to cook and soften them. Cover and simmer until the apples are soft. About 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the apples in a large microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and nuke for 3-6 minutes until the apples are soft.
I prefer to use a stick blender to puree the apples, but you can also use a food processor, blender, potato masher or fork if you have none of the above. Blend or mash until its the consistency you like.
Add a dash of cinnamon if you desire, and that’s all it takes to have some fresh and tasty apple sauce. Yup, it really is that simple.
- Apples, sweet varieties
- ~1/2 cup water
- Core and slice apples
- Cook apples to soften (using one of the following techniques)
- Microwave in a dish covered with plastic wrap until soft 3-6min, omit water
- In a large pot, add enough water to cover bottom and cook apples covered until they are soft
- Blend or puree until smooth
Now at this point I take it a step further. Since the apples are fresh now, I have taken this opportunity to “stock up” on some applesauce with plans for Latkes come Chanukah time.
Applesauce can be canned easily using the water bath canning method. Just follow this link for instructions, and the time table for how long you need to boil the jars for your elevation.
The Basic Breakdown:
In my book, no store bought applesauce beats fresh or homemade. But lets look at the costs of store bought. Around here we are looking at a price of roughly $2/lb of store bought applesauce (when you buy it in the larger jars). Taking out a little for the “core weight”, I would estimate that home-made has “value” if you can buy apples for anything less than $1.85/lb or about 90% the cost of pre-made applesauce. But aside from that, you can control the flavor much more just by selecting your favorite varieties of apple.
Besides, have I mentioned home-made tastes better?